In our society, strength (or imagined strength) is applauded, and weakness is thought of as a defect — that you have missed the best in life.

So observes J.I. Packer in an introductory interview regarding his small book Weakness Is the Way.  In this book, Packer expounds helpfully Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians.  He goes on,

God does not allow us to stay with the idea that we are strong. . . . and it will be good for us and will give glory to Him as He does so.

Packer shares how hindering thoughts of weakness weighed upon him throughout his life, now increasingly as he ages.  He refers extensively to apostle Paul’s classic conclusion in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This right-side-up thinking is refreshing.  It liberates me from fear and self-pity.  It harmonizes with the spirit of what Jesus taught:

But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.             Matthew 20:26-27

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth. . . .
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.            
 Matthew 5:3-5, 10

Lord, help me to learn to relish my weakness, as a needed reminder of my constant need for You.  Help me to cling tightly to you through the storms of life and to find joy in that position of dependence.

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